The undersigned is directed to refer to DoP&T’s OM. No. 11012/17/2013-Estt.A-III dated 3rd July, 2015 on the above mentioned subject and to say that in a recent case, Ajay Kumar Choudhary vs Union of India Civil Appeal No. 1912 of 2015 dated 16/02/2015, the Apex Court has directed as follows:
14 We, therefore, direct that the currency of a Suspension Order should not extend beyond three months if within this period the Memorandum of Charges/Chargesheet is not served on the delinquent officer/employee; if the Memorandum of Charges/Chargesheet is served a reasoned order must be passed for the extension of the suspension. As in the case in hand, the Government is free to transfer the concerned person to any Department in any of its offices within or outside the State so as to sever any local or personal contact that he may have and which he may misuse for obstructing the investigation against him. The Government may also prohibit him from contacting any person, or handling records and documents till the stage of his having to prepare his defence........... Furthermore, the direction of the Central Vigilance Commission that pending a criminal investigation departmental proceedings are to be held in abeyance stands superseded in view of the stand adopted by us.
2. In compliance of the above judgement, it has been decided that where a 'Government' servant: is placed under suspension, the order of suspension should not extend beyond three months, if within this period the charge-sheet is not served to the-charged officer. As such, it should be ensured that the charge sheet is issued before expiry of 90 days from the date of suspension. As the suspension will lapse in case this time line is not adhered to, a close watch needs to be kept at all levels to ensure that charge sheets are issued in time.
3. It should also be ensured that disciplinary proceedings are initiated as far as practicable in cases where an investigating agency is seized of the matter or criminal proceedings have been launched. Clarifications in this regard have already been issued vide O.M. No. 11012/6/2007-Estt.A-III dated 21.07.2016.
4. All Ministries/ Departments/Offices are requested to bring the above guidelines to the notice of all Disciplinary Authorities under their control.
5. Hindi version will follow.